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Gina P
Gina P, LCSW
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  MSW, LCSW, PIP
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How does a child learn loyalty I grew up as an only child.

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How does a child learn loyalty? I grew up as an only child. My mother and father did not get along at all. He was an alcoholic, and my mother took a lot of frustration out on me because of it. I had no extended family nearby because they all lived in New York and then Italy, so I could not talk to anyone. The atmosphere in the house was very violent. My mother would always pick fights with my father and beat him up because of trouble he caused outside the home. I was witness to all of this. My father died of a massive heart attack at home after one of my parents' horrible fights. When I was twenty I met my first boyfriend. I was still a virgin, but when my mother found out I was having sex after seeing him for four months, she called me every filthy name in the book and things were never the same between us. She was very verbally abusive, and I never said anything in retaliation. She is dead now but I am still very sad and angry at her. Do I have a right to feel this way?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Gina P replied 4 years ago.
Hi,
Of course you have a right. But, is it healthy for you? Does it hinder you from feeling good about yourself and your life? Does it effect everything you do, your relationships, your friendships? The answer to all of these is YES!

And your mother may be passed on, but she is still very much alive and well in your mind and influencing your life. Don't you thing it is time to put her out of your life, and stop allowing her to take any more of your time in a negative way?

Family of origin issues are very deeply ingrained and create a multitude of feelings. These will remain with you until you work through them. You do have a right to be sad and a right to feel angry. You also have a right to learn to work through these feelings, and learn to put them aside. You also have a right to learn to forgive your mother (and father) and in the process give yourself permission to live life to its fullest, something your parents never got to do. They were both very unhappy people and did not take the opportunity to get healthy, and that is unfortunate. But you do have the oppoortunity. Find a therapist who specializes in family of origin abuse type issues. someone who doesn't just talk but helps you to feel these emotions and learn to deal with them.

A 12 step meeting or the onlive version of the Adult children of Alcoholics will also help you see how much you have in common with many other people, who have also experienced very similar issues, and have come out on the other side into healty and happy people! Here is the website: www.adultchildren.org

The rewards of getting help are tremendous. You learn to empower yourself, and learn that all your feelings are acceptable, something that is not usually taught in an alcoholic or abusive home. You can also learn to express your feelings appropriately.

You are not being disloyal to your family by getting help. You are being loyal to yourself, and learning to care for yourself. You are also learning the benefits of forgiveness.   

Please let me know if you have other questions. Gina
Gina P, LCSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 175
Experience: MSW, LCSW, PIP
Gina P and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Gina P replied 4 years ago.
Hi, You might also want to look at some of the books by John Bradshaw. He is an ex Priest, but was raised in an alcoholic home and is right on the money as far as helping you learn more about his. Also very spiritual reading for you. Gina

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